As part of its accelerated global push into renewables, Fortescue Future Industries has entered a $200 million strategic collaboration with infrastructure developer Tree Energy Solutions (TES) to fast-track the development of a green hydrogen import facility in Germany.
Fortescue told the ASX on Wednesday FFI would invest €30 million (A$46 million) to become a shareholder in Tree Energy Solutions, and a further €100 million (A$152 million) in the construction of the TES terminal in the port of Wilhelmshaven in Germany.
This would deliver a 30 per cent equity stake in the project company (a TES subsidiary Grüngas und Energieversorgung GmbH) that is building the TES Green Energy Hub at Wilhelmshaven.
Tree Energy Solutions is building a global network of terminal to enable the transportation of green energy, with a focus on green hydrogen. The first delivery of green hydrogen into TES’ terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany is anticipated to take place in 2026, with Australia expected to be a supplier.
“From the beginning of FFI, our philosophy was to drive performance across the entire new renewable GH2 value chain while delivering returns to our shareholders,” Fortescue executive chair Andrew Forrest said.
“This investment reinforces this commitment and is a significant step forward in FFI’s journey to become one of the world’s largest green energy producers.”
FFI joins a group of international financial institutions and multinational energy companies that have invested in TES which includes E.ON, HSBC, UniCredit and Zodiac Maritime.
The collaboration brings together FFI’s ambitious goals for developing large scale renewable energy production, with TES’s access to the European green hydrogen market.
The Australian and German governments signed a Hydrogen Accord in mid-2021 to cooperate on a series of initiatives aimed at accelerating the development of a hydrogen industry.
The Accord was built on respective strengths, with Australia looking to be a major hydrogen exporter and Germany holding expertise in hydrogen technology with plans to import significant quantities of hydrogen in the future.
A Hydrogen Innovation and Technology incubator called HyGate was opened in March this year as an Accord initiative, with the Australian and German governments contributing $50 million and €50 million respectively.
In June, Fortescue Future Industries joined with a leading group of German companies to release a green hydrogen roadmap, outlining a set of recommendations for government and industry, to meet the ambitious targets for moving large amounts of green hydrogen from Australia to Germany.
The Green Hydrogen Taskforce is a collaborative effort between FFI and German energy, industrial, and technology companies, including Covestro, E.ON, Linde, Luthardt, SAP, Schaeffler, thyssenkrupp Nucera and thyssenkrupp Uhde.
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